Service Beyond Self -- Another Look at Annual College Rankings
Beginning in 2005, the Washington Monthly began publishing an annual issue devoted to college rankings of a new type—a ranking based on public good, or more specifically what colleges and universities are “doing for the country.” This project by Washington Monthly is meant to be, I believe, a kind of antidote or argument against the ranking program promoted by U.S. News & World Report—one in which enormous weight is given endowment wealth, admission selectivity, and the research productivity of school faculty rather than their skill with and attention to teaching undergraduate students. Over the years I’ve followed it with great interest, and indeed have been pleased to see it gaining in readership and popularity.
As you can read for yourself in WM, the editors believe “public good” is defined by or demonstrated in three categories… “Social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).” Perhaps this last category means the most to me—and certainly it speaks to the mission of The Webb Schools directly—to “Serve with a generous spirit.”
Looking through this lens, though you still find Stanford, Harvard and MIT near the top, you also find such remarkable learning communities as Harvey Mudd College (ranked #2)—yet just below Berea College in Kentucky (ranked #1 with 85% of students receiving Pell Grants)—a fascinating college devoted to serving first-generation college students, as well as lower-income students. Also near the top, Pomona College, Davidson College, Knox College and more.
My hope is that everyone connected to Webb (alumni, parents and friends) will take a look at this ranking program in the Washington Monthly and consider the importance of the project—to look beyond merely what a college can do for one individual to what a college (or school for that matter) can do for a country, our country.
Eshaana Sheth ’10 describes her short film, "The Butter Knife" as "a snapshot of modern, intercultural dating." It has won Best Romantic Comedy at the Los Angeles Film Awards and Top Shorts online film festival so far.
The president of the University of California, Janet Napolitano, announced today her intention to work towards guaranteed admission for all qualified state community college students to the UC system. This announcement follows Governor Jerry Brown and the state Legislature withholding $50 million in state funding this year--until among other things--the UC system admits one transfer for every two freshman systemwide at each of its undergrad campuses. Read more in the LATimes.
Alumni, family and friends are invited to join Head of Schools Taylor Stockdale and special guests for three events this April in New York City (April 11), Philadelphia (April 12) and London, England (April 14).
Once again, Webb athletes had a strong showing across the board during the 2018 winter season. Led by WSC soccer, which finished the season League Champions and with a deep run into CIF, both VWS and WSC athletics posted very positive results. VWS Water Polo also finished its league play in second place.
“It is always great each season to not only see our athletes and teams be successful on the field of play, but to see them learn and grow as individuals and part of a community,” said Director of Athletics Steve Wishek.